The startup develops high quality cultivated fish, and the new capital injection will boost its ability to accelerate the creation and increase scale of a cultivated whole-fish filet of bluefin tuna.
Wanda Fish Technologies (Rehovat, Israel), a foodtech startup pioneering the development of cultivated fish fillets, has secured $7 million in seed funding, according to a recent press release. The funding round was led by the Netherlands-based global aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark, with additional funding from returning pre-seed investors: The Kitchen Hub by the Strauss Group, Peregrine Ventures, LLC, PICO Venture Partners, MOREVC, and CPT Capital, LLP. Wanda Fish has raised $10 million in funding since its inception.
Wanda Fish was founded in 2021 by The Kitchen Hub and Daphne Heffetz, who is a leading figure in biotechnology-based innovation. The startup develops high quality cultivated fish, and the new capital injection will boost its ability to accelerate the creation and increase scale of a cultivated whole-fish filet of bluefin tuna. The company explains that the filets will replicate the texture, flavor, and nutritional value of wild-caught bluefin tuna, being comprised of the fish’s muscle and fat cells, as well as the native proteins and fatty acids. The promise of these cultivated filets, besides preserving wildlife, is the that they will also be free of ocean pollutants such as mercury, and are also produced under non-GMO standards, says Wanda Fish.
“We are excited and feel incredibly fortunate to collaborate with Aqua-Spark in propelling our venture forward,” said Daphna Heffetz, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Wanda Fish, in a press release. “We are on a shared mission to improve the global food value chain, creating a tasty, more sustainable future for all. This financial backing by leading global venture funds gives us significant leverage to make sustainably cultivated, cruelty-free, and ocean-friendly bluefin tuna a reality.”
The company also points out that overfishing has led governments to significantly limit fishing quotes of bluefin tuna to prevent endangerment, and farming of tuna is unsustainable due to feed resources, pen size requirements, and the difficulty of breeding them in captivity. Additionally, tuna is one of the ocean’s most polluted fish, explains Wanda Fish in its press release, often contaminated with plastic debris and high levels of heavy metals. All this, intensifies the need for an alternative, sustainable source to the fish’s meat, says the company.
“As the start-up’s incubator, we've had the privilege of witnessing the immense progress Wanda Fish has made since their inception less than two years ago,” said Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, in a press release. “Wanda Fish is transforming visionary ideas into a tangible, cutting-edge product that is just steps away from reaching its prototype. This is credited to a skilled and ambitious multinational team led by Daphna Heffetz that is undoubtedly poised for a resounding success story in the thriving alternative protein space; this spells good news for an overburdened marine ecosystem.”